The Letting Agents' Guide to Switching Tech Suppliers
If you’re a letting agent weighing up whether to switch software providers, there will naturally be some reluctance and fear about whether switching is really worth it. This quick guide debunks the myths about switching suppliers, reveals the common fears and gives advice on how to make the right decision for your business.
First off, why are you considering switching? Maybe these common reasons chime with you and your team:
- Your current solution isn’t doing everything other platforms do.
- It’s not as user-friendly as you had hoped.
- The customer service is poor, frustrating or time-consuming.
- Your business has evolved, and your current solution is holding you back.
- It isn’t actually improving your workflow or saving you time/money.
- Your current solution is expensive compared to other platforms.
As you will have noticed, these aren’t just common reasons for switching suppliers in the property industry; they’re the ones that motivate us all to choose new suppliers in every aspect of our personal and professional lives, from utilities companies and insurance providers to CRM providers and accounting software.
Whilst the incentives are easy to find, switching isn’t always easy. Suppliers understandably don’t want to see you go and some (fortunately not as many as there used to be) will make it as difficult and seemingly complex to switch as possible. This only exacerbates the common underlying fears of moving (and they know that) - so much so that a few agents will opt for the easy route and stick with the incumbent.
Better the devil you know, right?
Well, no, not really.
Sticking with the wrong supplier can result in your business falling behind, your costs increasing and your productivity suffering. Whilst these increments may seem small right now, they add up – all whilst your competition are evolving and moving forward.
The hidden benefits of switching
There are some obvious advantages for switching suppliers – cost saving, time saving, and sanity saving are three of the big ones – but there are additional hidden business benefits that have the power to be transformational.
Firstly, it offers your business the opportunity to audit your current processes and behaviours. It can reveal weak points in the business that need fixing, and gives your team a reason to shake-up and refresh out of date, inefficient routines and processes.
A transition to new technology can deliver an injection of creativity, unleash new ideas and encourage new ways of thinking. If your business has been stuck in a rut or struggling to adapt to increased competition or industry changes, this is worth gold.
The common worries about switching tech suppliers
However, even with those clear benefits, the perceived fears often shout louder.
When asked, people cite the following concerns about switching suppliers in their business:
- We don’t have the time to learn something new; new tech is complicated.
- It will take hours to transfer all our data to a new system.
- My team isn’t tech savvy – the learning curve will be too steep.
- I’m worried about the security of our data when we move suppliers.
- What if it doesn’t integrate with our other systems?
These worries are valid, which is why it’s so important to explore each in depth with your new supplier before you move. Always ask your prospective new proptech provider these questions first:
- Which features do they have that you don’t have with your existing solution? Go beyond the sales pitch and ask them to help you carry out a comparison between the platforms, explaining each feature in turn. How does this align with your business needs? If they can offer case studies and examples of how others in your industry have saved time and money, that will help with your decision.
- Do they offer free training? Free training by experts on the new platform will help you to quickly discover all the features and how to use them. It can help you to shortcut learning significantly and the experts will be able to ease your fears. Make sure your provider can cater for training up every agent in your business, as this will shorten the learning curve for all.
- Do they offer a free, no-obligation, no hard-sell trial? This will give you and your team time to see if it’s worth switching for. It will give a great indication on how user-friendly the platform is and if it will be easy to integrate into your workflow. It also allows you to compare your two systems side by side before you make the leap.
- Do they offer assistance with data migration? One of the greatest worries when switching software suppliers in business is how to transfer the existing data into the new system securely and quickly. The good providers will have sophisticated technology that can handle that migration automatically, removing any human error that can come from manual transfer.
“The best providers will migrate your property and tenant data securely, as standard, for free.”
- Does their software integrate with your other systems? It’s all well and good finding a super intuitive, user-friendly software that will revolutionise your workflows in one area of your business – until you find it doesn’t speak to another critical part of your business. Always ask software providers if their solutions will integrate with other platforms. Be specific. If they don’t align with your existing tech, ask them if they would be willing to develop integration for you. It’s always worth asking, especially if there are others in your boat.
In addition to asking these questions, you should carry out your own due diligence and check user reviews on an independent website to get a true picture of the platform.
While you’re at it, it’s worth looking at reviews of your existing provider. This can be especially useful if you’re questioning whether the switch is worth it. Often, if you’re unhappy about something, others will be too, which can help to clarify your decision.
If you aren’t satisfied with their answers or reviews, it’s time to research more suppliers.
Whilst that will take some time, it will be worth it. Choosing the wrong digital platform, on the other hand will be much more painful in the long run (as you may already be experiencing).
Simon Whale of Kerfuffle, the Proptech comparison website that makes it easy for agents to consider their options says “Switching products or solutions can often be daunting, and the paradox of choice doesn't make it any easier. With new products entering the market on a pretty much daily basis, it can be overwhelming. But luckily at Kerfuffle we’d like to think that we have made the process as painless as possible.
You can now get reviews, a summary of functionality and very often even a demonstration of the product in action, all in one easily accessible place. The best bit is that this comes straight from agents like you. When it comes to having a good reputation, be that for having a great product or excellent customer service, there is nowhere to hide anymore. We’ve enjoyed making something that agents have traditionally put off for as long as possible, really easily achievable.
If, as we often hear, you “don’t know where to start”, we are always happy to jump on a quick call to look at your tech stack with you. We can very often establish how well your team is using current products and very often our experts are able to suggest solutions or ideas that you might not have considered previously, but that we know are working well for other agents.
There’s no need to delay making those changes and improvements that will benefit your business and your bottom line really quickly.”
At Inventory Hive, we’ve developed our switching service to alleviate all the common fears. With a free trial, free training and free, secure data migration service, our customers and users never regret their decision to switch to our property inventory platform. Read their reviews here: Inventory Hive Reviews
Learn more at Inventory Hive
Find out more about Inventory Hive here: https://www.kerfuffle.com/suppliers/inventory-hive